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WWE ThunderDome: A fan's first-hand experience and helpful tips

Vince McMahon introducing WWE ThunderDome on Smackdown 8-21-20
Vince McMahon introducing WWE ThunderDome on Smackdown 8-21-20
Lee Walker
ANALYST
Modified 07 Oct 2020, 22:16 IST
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On August 21st, 2020, WWE introduced a new, fun way to implement fans back into the arena without physically being there. Thus, WWE ThunderDome was born.

Since the introduction of ThunderDome, I have participated in WWE ThunderDome three times, twice for Monday Night RAW and once for Friday Night SmackDown. These are my personal experiences. I made it on 9/21 for RAW (front row), 10/2 for SmackDown (front row), and 10/5 for RAW again (fourth row).

Myself on WWE ThunderDome
Myself on WWE ThunderDome

WWE ThunderDome Experience

My first experience with WWE ThunderDome was having no idea where to sign up, even though it has been on for a month. Friends told me to look for when WWE tweets that registration is open. So tip #1, be part of WWE's newsletter to get an e-mail on ThunderDome or pay attention to WWE's Twitter account for the announcement like below. Signing up goes extremely fast.

I signed up on the ThunderDome website on Friday, 9/18. I made it on RAW on 9/21. Once confirmed, WWE sends you an e-mail confirmation to be part of WWE ThunderDome. The e-mail includes your time call to join ThunderDome.

The day of RAW, I received another e-mail with the link to WWE ThunderDome. This e-mail also pointed out some rules about behavior and how to conduct yourself being part of ThunderDome.

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Now, so far, the process has been pretty straightforward. For this episode of RAW, my time call was 8:30. I clicked the link and brought it to this screen below.

WWE ThunderDome e-mail with link to show
WWE ThunderDome e-mail with link to show

Now, so far, the process has been pretty straightforward. For this episode of RAW, my time call was 8:30. I clicked the link and brought it to this screen below.

Pre WWE ThunderDome screen
Pre WWE ThunderDome screen

Tip #2, even though the screen says not to refresh, refresh. WWE ThunderDome has a first-come, first-serve basis even though you have time calls. When the screen above shows it's met with on of two things, a screen that says, click here to allow you into the ThunderDome, or this screen below (hence I say hit refresh).

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WWE ThunderDome is full
WWE ThunderDome is full

I had to refresh the screen several times before I saw, "click here." Tip #3, the best time to get in if you're met with this screen is during commercial breaks. All three times, I never made it in during my time calls. Every time I made it, I made it during commercial breaks.

One thing you'll notice, during the commercial break, a producer will come over your speakers, letting you know when they come back from commercial break with a countdown. You'll also hear the producer say things like, "If you are using your phone, make sure it is steady." You'll again listen to something like, "Big crowd shot, let's see those cheers." "Cesaro is coming out next. Let's hear those boos." The producer will guide the audience on how to cheer. I like heels, so I cheered how I wanted.

For both times on RAW, 9/21, I was on from 8:45 to about 10 pm. After 10 pm, I did not attempt to get back in. On SmackDown 10/2, my time-call was 7:30, but I didn't get in until 8:30, but I was part of the crowd until the show ended. For this past Monday's RAW 10/5, my time-call was 9:30, and I got in WWE ThunderDome at 9:45 pm and was on the rest of the show.

Overall, I thought the experience to be unique. It can be very frustrating trying to get into WWE's ThunderDome. Often I'd get in for a split second and get kicked out and have to wait till I saw, "click here," again. It was worth the frustration after noticing that I was either in the first row or the fourth row all three times. While WWE still doesn't have a live audience due to COVID-19, the ThunderDome gives wrestling fans that live audience feel again.

Published 07 Oct 2020, 22:16 IST
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